Gandalf departs from Bag End
Event Type: Military/Strategic
Age: 3rd Age - Ring War
Date: June 28, 3018
Gandalf stayed in the Shire for over two months. Then one evening, at the end of June, soon after Frodo's plan had been finally arranged, he suddenly announced that he was going off again next morning. 'Only for a short while, I hope,' he said. 'But I am going down beyond the southern borders to get some news, if I can. I have been idle longer than I should.'
He spoke lightly, but it seemed to Frodo that he looked rather worried. 'Has anything happened?' he asked.
'Well no; but I have heard something that has made me anxious and needs looking into. If I think it necessary after all for you to get off at once, I shall come back immediately, or at least send word. In the meanwhile stick to your plan; but be more careful than ever, especially of the Ring. Let me impress on you once more: don't use it!'
He went off at dawn. 'I may be back any day,' he said. 'At the very latest I shall come back for the farewell party. I think after all you may need my company on the Road.'
At first Frodo was a good deal disturbed, and wondered often what Gandalf could have heard; but his uneasiness wore off, and in the fine weather he forgot his troubles for a while. The Shire had seldom seen so fair a summer, or so rich an autumn: the trees were laden with apples, honey was dripping in the combs, and the corn 1 was tall and full.
The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Book 1, Ch 2, The Shadow of the Past
1 Note that by "corn", Tolkien most likely refers to wheat, rather than maize:
corn Chiefly British Any of various cereal plants or grains, especially the principal crop cultivated in a particular region, such as wheat in England or oats in Scotland.
"corn." The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. 02 Mar. 2010.
Elena Tiriel 25Aug10